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by Jay Fienberg

PlaNetwork conference, Social Network Software 1 panel, part 2

posted: Jun 7, 2003 6:17:30 PM

Blogging the PlaNetwork conference in San Francisco.

Peter Kaminski is up now. Talking about SocialText. He has a webpage online to go with his presentation, at

Since all kinds of things can be seen on the web about social software and the Social Software Alliance, he is going to talk about his inspirations. Right now, he is showing off the lightweight wiki tool from SocialText.

Peter comes from a communications and software developer background. He is interested in how increasing the communication capabilities allows things to be more decentralized.

He created Netcom Netcruiser to allow end-user access to telnet. Now, 10 years later, we have plumbing that is working pretty well, but we are trying to figure out what is going on. It is like 10 years ago before people started created end-user interfaces.

Inspired by working with people, who aren't computers and who aren't parts of a machine that can be plugged into big information systems. People are social animals, a lot like primates. (See links on his presentation page for links to people he is talking about in his presentation: he has it mapped out!)

Peter is talking about software developers mistakenly thinking users are part of the computer program, or that the whole system can be designed without input from users. So, he is talking about wiki as an example of allowing people to be creative and to experiment. He is making good points, referring to David Weinberger's Society is based on bending the rules and Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think.

Talking about what makes us human. Commenting on John Parry Barlow's It's a Poor Workman Who Blames His Tools and larger gatherings of people having wills of their own.

Peter is wrapping up. Mentioning things in his Scaling Brains section on his presentation site. People are applauding.

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